“It’s not about me, it’s not about you, it’s about us” – World Prematurity Day & MatNeoSIP

November 17, 2022

On World Prematurity Day, we hear the latest from the Pan-London Maternity and Neonatal Safety Improvement Programme Team.

Key stats:

  • Around 2,900 babies are stillborn and 60,000 preterm births every year in the UK
  • Stillbirth and premature birth rates vary widely (up to +/-20%) across UK 

Source: Provisional births in England and Wales: 2020

The Pan-London Maternity and Neonatal Safety Improvement Programme (MatNeoSIP) team hosted its first face-to-face event since Covid in November 2022, celebrating the hard work Maternity and Neonatology teams have achieved across London to improve mother and baby care and safety.

People gathered from across London Maternity Units, from the London Maternity Clinical Network, the Operational Delivery Network, the Local Maternity and Neonatal Systems, charities such as the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement, and from the Maternity Voice Partnerships (representing service users). A member from the audience kicked off the afternoon stating that they had come today for cross-boundary networking. London is one hospital. It’s not about me or you, it is about us. We must work collaboratively across boundaries and across professions, bringing Maternity and Neonatalogy together.

The Deputy Regional Chief Midwife, Nina Khazaezadeh, set out the London vision for maternity with more personalised, safer, and kinder care for women, birthing people and families. Thought should be given to culture and service-user voice to ensure that everyone is heard, and choice is taken into account early on in the pathway of the mother’s pregnancy. A “fishbowl” exercise discussing post-natal care reinforced how we need to optimise giving post-natal information antenatally to help to prevent complications and enable mothers and their families to spot abnormalities. A service user explained that cross cultural experiences and differences are not understood and so instead the mother and families can feel pressured to comply to a culture that they are not familiar with, told to do or not do something and not given choice in their care. Information needs to be accessible in different languages and culturally tailored for the diverse population of London.

Olivia Houlihan, Regional Maternity Transformation Lead, discussed the Right Place of Birth for premature babies through the Quality Improvement (QI) pan-London project. The ambition is to ensure that all babies that are born pre 27 weeks (or pre 28 weeks for multiples) are born in a maternity unit co-located with a level 3 neonatal unit. This is an excellent example of co-design and collaboration across multiple stakeholder groups to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the pathway. Continuing on the topic of improving the care of preterm babies, Dr Ambalika Das, Consultant Neonatologist & Neonatal Lead at Queen’s Hospital in Romford spoke to us about their QI project on how to optimise the thermal care of admitted new-borns. She reinforces the message that it is possible to achieve normothermia in most babies with continuous monitoring, education and feedback via PDSA cycles.

Finally, the team from the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement, which has been established to reduce the number of babies born prematurely or stillborn, shared the risk assessment and decision support tool that has been developed and piloted at four sites across the UK. The vision is for each woman and birthing person to be offered the right care at the right time, no matter where they live. Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust, as an early adopter site, advocated that the identification of clinical champions in the Trust to lead this work and working closely with Maternity Voice Partners (MVP) helped with the rollout and adoption of the tool.

Our fantastic clinical chairs, Dr Anita Banerjee and Dr Sabrina Das left us with some empowering words around kindness – “Kindness is the new superpower to enact change - Kindness should be recognised as a positive way to drive quality improvement and enact change.”

Gemma Dakin, Project Manager for Patient Safety and Experience at the HIN would like to thank all speakers and her amazing MatNeoSIP colleagues at ICHP and UCLP for their continued hard work and collaboration to improve maternity and neonatal care for patients.


Find out more

For more information, please get in touch with our MatNeoSIP contacts.

Get in touch

Health Innovation Network - South London

Gemma Dakin | Project Manager - Patient Safety and Experience Team


UCL Partners – North Central North East London

Paulina Sporek | Maternity Improvement Advisor


Imperial College Health Partners – North West London

Omid Nivi | Senior Innovation Manager


Sarah Stephens | Senior Innovation Adviser